Optimism among small business owners soared to a record high in the U.S. during August as plans for job creation and inventory investments rose, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business.
The NFIB small business optimism index rose to 108.8 in August from 107.9 in July, crossing the 108 all-time high measured in July 1983.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, net 10% of small business owners surveyed reported higher nominal sales in the last three months compared to the previous three months. The number of owners planning to build inventories rose by 6 points to a net 10% in August, while an adjusted 26% said they plan to create new jobs.
Of the business owners polled, 62% said they were trying to hire, and 25% said finding qualified people was the single most important business problem.
"As the tax and regulatory landscape changed, so did small business expectations and plans," said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. "We're now seeing the tangible results of those plans as small businesses report historically high, some record breaking, levels of increased sales, investment, earnings, and hiring."